Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday that has been celebrated for over 3,000 years.
The ritual of honoring the dead began in Meso-America with the Aztecs and other ancient civilizations. Whereas the later arriving Spanish Conquistadors feared death, the Aztecs embraced it and believed it was simply a continuation of life.
Rooted in ancient practices, Dia de los Muertos has since incorporated Catholic beliefs. Though traditional symbols like the skull still play a large role in Day of the Dead celebrations, today, Mexicans commemorate and honor their deceased relatives with bright festivities that include dancing, sugar skulls, masks and prayer.
A popular holiday in Mexico, Dia de los Muertos has since grown in recognition in both the United States and Central America.
Here are a few fun and festive recipes and crafts to celebrate Dia de los Muertos in your own home.
Celebrate Dia de los Muertos with homemade sugar skulls. Though the Ancient Aztecs used real human skulls in their celebrations, sugar replicas decorated brightly and with deceased relatives names are the new symbol of the holiday. Here's an easy how-to to make your own. Read More
Raise a glass to those you've lost and to commemorate all of your relatives who have since departed this world. This Wine of the Dead is a delicious sip - and quite a powerful one, too. Enjoy and reminisce on all the wonderful family memories you have. Read More
Break bread with family at your Dia de los Muertos feast. This traditional pan de muerto recipe is used as a symbolic offering to those deceased relatives celebrated on the holiday. Read More
Finally, one of our favorite Dia de los Muertos traditions is the nicho, or decorative display featuring a skeleton character. Though slightly morbid, nichos are meant to be fun, not somber. They are exaggerated characters oftentimes of deceased relatives and when completed, they are surrounded by flowers and candles. Read More